zaterdag 5 januari 2008

Neil en Gina Rodger

Bij Neil en Gina Rodger zijn we al twee keer op bezoek geweest.Zij wonen ook in Port Elizabeth in dezelfde wijk waar wij ook gaan wonen. Via de Alliance Francaise in P.E. zijn wij met elkaar in contact gekomen. Gina geboren Nederlandse, Zeeuwse in Zierikzee geboren al meer dan 65 jaar geleden.
De eerste keer hadden we niet door dat Neil eigenlijk een beroemde kunstenaar is in Zuid-Afrika. Toen we bij toeval in Kaapstad in een chique blad een schilderij van Neil hadden gezien, werd ons een hoop duidelijk. Wel was ons opgevallen dat de schilderijen bij de familie Rodgers toch wel heel bijzonder waren.
Mycene met zijn Leeuwenpoort in Griekenland herkende ik natuurlijk, het stilleven van kweeperen en de mooie hanen zijn bijzonder nauwkeurig na geschilderd.
In november zijn we weer even langs geweest om wat Nederlandse Sinterklaas tradities
in ere te houden. In geen 30 jaar hadden ze pepernoten, chocolade-letters en banketstaven gegeten. Ze waren ontroerd natuurlijk.

Artist's Statement

'I believe that pictures rarely benefit from commentary by the artist. In general I would say that while most good art has been extremely difficult and taxing in the making, it is a prerequisite of great art that this is not evident - that it appears effortless or even inevitable.'

About the Artist

BORN 1941 Mowbray Cape Town

Neil Rodger lives and works in the Eastern Cape, where he thrives on the austerity and solitude of the region. It seems that this environment is conducive to the enigmatic silence so characteristic of his finest work.

Rodger belongs with those individual realists who have, throughout the modern era, defied categorization.
Instead his art is characterized by his pursuit of the universality, timelessness and harmony found in all great art regardless of period or place. It is a measure of his conviction of the continuity of great art that he remains unmoved by revolutions, fashions or changing attitudes around him.

His cultural connections lie with Europe - to the Mediterranean by inclination and to the Netherlands by training - both of which are resounding influences. His surreal landscapes and architectural capriccios, his controlled, quiet, contemplative interiors, his heraldic animals all bespeak these inspirations. There is a self-confessed ambiguity in Rodger's art. His subjects are deeply peaceful yet elusive, often remaining anonymous. There is a classical timelessness in these contemplative scenes, and yet his works remain unmistakably contemporary. His search for ever -increasing refinement of conception and means remains constant.

Rodger has worked in a variety of media in both painting and sculpture, and his work covers an exceptionally wide range of content. He is equally proficient in landscape, interiors, figures both nude and clothed. He also magnificently portrays animals - his bulls and cockerels achieve an almost emblematic presence. He is one of the country's most sought-after portraitists; and spends time abroad each year where he executes portrait and other commissions, as well as gathering material for his work. His portraits characteristically set out to achieve considerably more than likeness, and most are considered to be evocative and memorable paintings over and above their function as portraits.

Rodger is currently one of the most popular, respected and admired artists in South Africa and he is rightly considered one of the great artists of his generation.

1941 - Born at Mowbray, Cape
1963-6 - Rijks Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten te Amsterdam
1966 - BA Fine Art UCT
1967 - Taught Cape Technical College and Wynberg Boys’ High School
1968-74 - Lecturer at Rhodes University, School of Fine Art
1974-82 - Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at Port Elizabeth Technikon
1982 - Resigned lectureship to paint full time; invited to exhibit with Everard Read Gallery

1963 - Max Michaelis Prize for painting
1966 - Talensprijs award for painting
1982 - Five Roses Young Artists Award, Grahamstown Festival


Group Exhibits

1966 - Talensprijs winning entries toured Netherlands

1968-74 - Regular group exhibitions with Grahamstown Group throughout South Africa
1968 - Solo show Rhodes University
1973 - Solo show Grahamstown
1974-82 - Various Group shows including annual Eastern Province Fine Art Society exhibitions
1982 - Solo show with Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg
1989 - Solo show with Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg
2000 - Solo show with Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg


Ongoing portrait and other commissions throughout South Africa, Europe, USA, Australia and UK
Copyright © 2005, NEIL RODGER all rights reserved.
Site design & maintenance JGH Internet.

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